Sex is shaking up campus - again.
The literary erotica magazine Quake, which disappeared from Penn after a two-year existence from 2005-2007, is being reincarnated this semester.
"Sexuality is very interesting," said College sophomore Trisha Low, Quake editor-in-chief. "It's something that is ignored on campus."
College senior and co-editor Nick Salvatore agreed, saying that what discourse exists is either "lacking" or "superficial."
The old Quake, which was founded by 2008 College alumna Jessica Haralson, stopped printing when the magazine ran out of funding.
The new magazine will get support from the Kelly Writers House. Low said the group might also apply for Student Activity Council funding in the future.
The financial assistance will hopefully help the magazine stay alive this time around - Haralson said it was "surprisingly hard" to find businesses willing to advertise in it when she was the editor.
Haralson has been advising the new editors regarding funding to help them avoid the same problems.
"Penn's campus needs something like this," said Haralson. "I'm so glad someone else has taken on the mantle because it needs a place and it needs a voice."
But students expecting to see the same old Quake may be disappointed.
"Quake as it used to be took sex a little too seriously, to the point that it was almost cheesy," said Low, adding that the old magazine's content was "a little narrow."
"We really want a little less looking at sex," said Salvatore, and "a little more thinking about sex."
The duo explained that the photos in the new Quake, unlike the old magazine, will tell a narrative.
Salvatore added that its articles will feature relevant health and gender-related issues.
The editors want their topics to spur discussion, not just be "consumed."
College junior and design editor Lee Huttner also emphasized that the content will be more academic than it has been in past - although Low clarified that it will be academic in content, not style.
An article in the first issue will discuss erotica's impact on the development of the printing press, for example.
One facet of the old Quake that she does not expect to be reincarnated was the controversy it caused.
Writers House director Jessica Lowenthal said that the old magazine inspired letters to the editor in The Daily Pennsylvanian, which in turn caused disputes on campus.
Quake also drew negative attention in November 2005 when a photograph of two people having sex in a window of what is now Rodin College House was widely circulated in several Philadelphia publications.
The magazine was published in the same week and, while unconnected to the incident, it took the brunt of some ensuing criticism over what is fit to print.
But Lowenthal said she doesn't think Quake should be controversial.
"Free expression is important on a college campus," she said.
Lowenthal said she is somewhat concerned that "if taken in the wrong spirit," the magazine will "lead to an unproductive discussion about what free speech is for."
But, she added, she doesn't anticipate that happening.
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